Lyon is France’s third-largest city, the country’s gastronomical capital, and home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, Lyon tends to fly under the tourist radar.

Founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago, you can seemingly travel back in time by strolling around Old Lyon, La Croix-Rousse and Fourviere. These are central districts that have a quaint vintage atmosphere as well as splendid old buildings.

Lyon is a great city where you can enjoy lunch in the friendly atmosphere of a bouchon (typical bistro), then go to visit the place where cinematography was invented, before ending your day at one of the trendy restaurants of La Presqu’île district. The best things to do in Lyon feature gastronomy, history and culture. This is what Lyon’s famous for.

Local Attractions and Things to Do

As you step off your cruise, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the wonders of Lyon. Begin your adventure in Vieux Lyon, one of Europe’s largest Renaissance neighborhoods. Stroll through its narrow, cobbled streets and discover hidden traboules – secret passageways that once facilitated silk weavers’ movements across the city.

Don’t miss the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, perched atop Fourvière Hill. This stunning basilica offers not only spiritual solace but also panoramic views of the city. For art enthusiasts, the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, housed in a former Benedictine convent, displays a vast collection spanning ancient Egypt to modern art.


As the sun sets, Lyon transforms into a lively hub of entertainment. The Presqu’île district, nestled between the Rhône and Saône rivers, is bustling with bars, clubs, and live music venues, offering a taste of the local nightlife. For a more relaxed evening, enjoy a glass of wine at a riverside café and watch the city light up.

Culinary Delights

Lyon is renowned as the gastronomic capital of France. Embark on a culinary journey at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, a famed indoor food market named after the city’s most celebrated chef. Indulge in local specialties like quenelles, Lyonnaise salad, and praline tart.

For a truly unforgettable dining experience, visit a traditional “bouchon" – a type of restaurant found only in Lyon, known for its convivial atmosphere and hearty, local fare. Be sure to try the saucisson de Lyon (sausage) and rosette (pork salami), staples of the Lyonnaise diet.

Must-see Restaurants

  • Le Sud: A part of the renowned Paul Bocuse empire, Le Sud offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu in a charmingly decorated setting.
  • La Mère Brazier: Founded in 1921, this Michelin-starred restaurant combines traditional Lyonnaise cuisine with contemporary flair.
  • Auberge du Pont de Collonges: Experience the pinnacle of French gastronomy at this legendary restaurant by the late Paul Bocuse, a mere cruise away from the city center.


In Lyon, every corner holds a story, every street a melody, and every meal a celebration. From its historical richness to its gastronomic delights, Lyon promises an unforgettable experience for every cruise passenger who sets foot on its storied shores. Welcome aboard!